The Problem: Injected Competitor Ads Hijack a Big & Active Customer Segment
21.22% Hijacking Rate
Destination XL Group (DXL) is the largest multi-channel retailer of men’s XL apparel in the United States, operating over 300 stores across the country.
The DXL digital team is constantly testing and implementing technologies to better personalize the journey for their online customers, perfect their user experience, and strengthen loyalty to their brand. That’s why when they discovered just how many online shoppers visiting their site were being presented with unauthorized competitor ads instead of the journey they’ve designed, they were understandably shocked.
These unsanctioned promotions are part of a widespread problem known as Customer Journey Hijacking, in which traffic hijackers insert ad injections into consumer browsers and devices. Traffic hijackers gain direct access to the consumer’s browser by distributing their ad injections across many popular free software services such as desktop programs, apps, and browser extensions. This enables them to monetize valuable online customers by presenting them with compelling offers — most of which promote direct competitor sites and products — and divert them away to purchase elsewhere.
DXL’s CMO Ujjwall Dhoot had heard about this consumer-side problem prior to being introduced to Namogoo, but was not aware of the scale and impact of Customer Journey Hijacking on their revenue:
“We’d hear from our guest engagement center that customers would sometimes call and ask; ‘why do you have ads of other brands or other stores on your website?’ Obviously, the call center was very confused and answered ‘we don’t do that!’. Customer Journey Hijacking was on our radar, but the big ‘but’ we had was how many customers could it actually be affecting?”
The DXL team was determined to dig deeper and find out how many of their customers were indeed being shown offers and promotions from other brands, and how this could be impacting their conversion rate and revenue per visitor (RPV).
“We couldn’t grasp the negative impact since we weren’t able to see what is displayed on consumers’ devices. We decided to test Namogoo’s solution to see if these ad injections were a major problem impacting our conversion and RPV.”
The Solution: Recovering the Digital Team’s Customer Journey Efforts
While testing Namogoo’s Customer Hijacking Prevention solution, the DXL digital team was able to see the variety of injected ads that were interfering with the customer journey they worked so hard to create. Ujjwal was concerned by both the content of these ads and the way they were displayed over key sections of the DXL site.
“What grabbed our attention most was how relevant the ads were to what the consumer was looking for. Sometimes, it was perfect. The consumers’ eyes could go right to the ad because that’s exactly what they were searching for. The way some ads were displayed made the entire page look horrible and easily could take that customer off our site.”
Namogoo’s customer-side data showed that 21.22% of all visitors to DXL.com were being shown unauthorized ads.
“I was expecting the results to come back as low single digits. Even at 4 or 5%, I would have been upset. But 21% was shocking — that’s impacting our conversion rate and compromising our brand experience. If we’d known that number earlier, we would have engaged with Namogoo a lot sooner.”
DXL’s UX team constantly runs tests to optimize the journey for these customers. After seeing the impact of ad injections on their customer behavior, it was also clear that not only were they undermining that experience, but also distorting their A/B testing results.
“Our UX team works extremely hard with A/B testing to create a perfect experience for the consumer. But many consumers were seeing something that was nothing like what they had created. That skewed our tests, and decisions that were based on the results because they never accounted for Consumer Journey Hijacking.”
The Business Impact: Lifting Digital Revenue With Disruption-Free Customer Journeys
After removing ad injections from their customer journeys, DXL is consistently seeing their overall site conversion rate rise by 8.91%, while their RPV has improved by 9.97%. This has helped DXL boost digital revenue in the face of unique offline challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There were times during COVID-19 when over 300 of our stores were closed throughout the country, and the digital team was looked at to support the entire company. The results from Namogoo have been critical to our success, especially in 2020 where we placed all metrics under the microscope to try to find lifts.”
In addition to the significant sales funnel improvements came an important discovery: Hijacked visitors are more actively engaged online and therefore download free extensions and services more frequently — many of which come bundled with ad injections. Removing these ads from DXL’s journey sees these high-intent shoppers converting much higher than the rest of their visitors.
“A consumer who interacts with an injected ad is not just browsing, they’re actively going through the discovery phase within the site. When you’re deep in discovery, you can easily be pulled away. The people who actively discover on the site also purchase, so injected ads take our purchases away.”
For DXL, recovering their intended customer journeys for this valuable segment is not just about boosting immediate results, but also growing loyalty and lifetime value by giving them every reason to return.
“We know that when someone comes to our site, they may not purchase the first time. But if they have a quality experience, they’ll come back. Eliminating unauthorized ads is part of making sure that their customer journey is a positive one. Our main goal is the lifetime value of our customers, and it all comes back to the experience.”
In 2021, DXL plans to prioritize solutions that bring clear and immediate ROI and deliver those benefits as seamlessly as possible. The digital team is pleased to be reaping the benefits of ensuring their customers are experiencing disruption-free journeys with Namogoo’s SaaS solution.
“What’s nice about Namogoo is that it’s a partner we don’t have to spend a lot of time and effort constantly working with, but who deliver the benefits we expect. Namogoo is amongst our top rung of partnerships, and they enable us to deliver consistent and engaging experiences for our customers. The conversion uplifts Namogoo creates helps drive strong value for DXL Group and our customers.”